Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Shell Tree


The beach I walked on this weekend is special, partly because it is little known and often almost deserted -- certainly at 7:30 in the morning. It is a spit of land between a channel and the ocean. I always started walking on the channel side, at least until I get to the "shell tree". As you can see [and if you click the image it enlarges] it is a dead tree festooned with shells, mostly conch shells. Rachel has never heard how it came to be. But people seem to take care of it and probably replace shells blown off in storms, the shells change from year to year, I think just for that reason. Coming upon the tree is always magical. Such a thing seems ancient and primal. It's like finding a Druid altar or a fairy ring or crop circle although I do not have a sense it is anything other than a human artifact. There it stands, a testimony of an urge to memorialize the natural. Druids worshiped big, live trees, but this seems like an effort to revivify a dead tree by giving it gifts from the sea, although those gifts are the remains of one living creatures. All are dead but they becoming something alive with suggestion and definitely something beautiful by being joined.
Because this is close and easy to drive to first thing in the morning, I felt I was going to "my" beach even if I am only there once or twice a year. Someone, or many someones, have given it to me and to everyone else who sees it to contemplate and enjoy.

1 comment:

FRAMED said...

where is this beach on the cape?